Do you want to learn how to play drums? Well, there are 3 things you’ll need to get started. In this article, I’m going to spell them out for you. Let’s dive in.
Learn How To Play Drums #1 – All Of Your Limbs
Using all four of our limbs is probably the most intimidating part of learning drums for a beginning drummer. When we learn how to play drums, we learn to use all of your limbs to play drum beats and drum fills.
This is one of the skills that separates drumming from most any other instrument. Organ is the only other instrument I can think of that also uses both hands and feet.
I often meet people on my gigs who say they want to learn how to play drums but don’t believe they could ever do the things I do, with their hands and feet.
The truth is, anyone including you my friend, can do exactly what I do because it’s all based on patterns. You see, your brain is amazing. It can memorize thousands of different patterns and then put them together in different combinations.
You might also enjoy my article about how to learn drums fast.
When we talk about using our limbs in drumming we call it drumming independence. The reality though, is that there is no such thing as limb independence because everything in your body is connected.
What happens instead is, your brain memorizes various pattern combinations between your hands, between your feet and between your hands and feet. You then learn to mix these combinations together into hybrid patterns.
If you ask me, that’s just as amazing as having real independence between your limbs. At Jazz Drum School, I have 2 courses that will help you with your drumming independence.
The first one is for beginning drummers and it’s called my Intro To Jazz Drumming course. Here, you’ll learn 10 great coordination exercises based on Jazz rhythms. You’ll begin training your brain and body to play fun and interesting drum grooves.
The second course is my Jazz Drumming Patterns course. Here, it takes you beyond the first 10 exercises and into creating rhythmic “conversations” between your hands and feet. This course is more challenging than the Intro course but it is so rewarding.
The great thing about learning Jazz drumming is it will help you play any other style of music better. See my article about 5 Reasons Beginner Drummers Should Learn Jazz Drums.
Learn How To Play Drums #2 – 4-Piece Drum Set
As you start out learning drums it’s okay to have only a pair of drum sticks with a snare drum or a practice pad to train your hands. After a few months though, you’ll need to upgrade to at least a basic 4-piece drum set.
The reason is to get all of your limbs moving together. Having all of the parts of the drum set you need, will help you grow the fastest in your drumming.
A basic 4-piece drum set has the following parts:
Bass drum with pedal
Snare drum with stand
Hi-Hat stand and hi-hat cymbals
Ride cymbal with stand
Crash cymbal with stand
Rack tom (usually mounted on the bass drum)
Floor tom (stands on the floor next to the drum set)
Drum throne (drum seat)
What Are The 4 Pieces?
You might notice that there are more than 4 things listed above. The “4 pieces” in the name “4-piece drum set” are, the bass drum, snare drum, rack tom and floor tom.
This sized drum set is also called a Jazz drum set. It’s everything a good drummer needs to play a million creative and musical ideas.
The drum set in the picture above is my cheap compact Pearl drum set. It’s a great kit for the money and I’ve used it in everything from recording studios to concert halls. Check out my YouTube video below about this kit and my innovative, lightweight drum hardware set up.
Learn How To Play Drums #3 – Good Drum Lessons
Sometimes I meet other drummers who say they were “self-taught.” While that may sound impressive, it’s actually the most difficult way to learn how to play drums.
Drums are like anything else you want to learn in life. It’s always better to learn from someone who is already successful at doing what you want to do.
All styles of drum set playing have the same basic coordination and rhythmic principles. Some styles are easier to learn in the beginning than others. My recommendation is to start off learning a style of drumming that will give you more choices in the future.
Learning Jazz drumming from the beginning will make it possible for you to learn how to play drums in any other style you choose. While probably the most challenging style to learn for beginning drummers, learning Jazz drums will wire your brain for drumming success.
Online Drum Lessons
I’ve been playing professionally for more than 35 years and have taught more than 10,000 face-to-face drum lessons. My playing and teaching experiences have taught me what drummers really need to know to succeed in playing music.
In my online Jazz Drum School I filter out all of the noise out there to create drumming courses that get drummers up and grooving as quickly as possible. After all, I know you just to play with other musicians.
Playing with other musicians is where all of the best music is created and where the magic really happens. My courses will help you to experience the incredible feeling of playing great music with other people.
So the 3 things every beginning drummer needs, to learn how to play drums are:
- To use all 4 limbs
- 4-Piece drum set
- Good drum lessons
There are of course other things that might be helpful, like specific drum sticks, drum brushes, bass drum pedals, drum chairs or cymbals but I’ll talk about those in other articles. In the meantime, if you want to learn how to play drums, take these 3 things into consideration.
Once you get used to using all four of your limbs it really becomes second nature. Then people will start telling you too, how amazed they are at your coordination abilities. You’ll just be able to tell them, “It’s all a bunch of patterns”.
Look into the 4-piece drum set and get hooked up with some good drum lessons. Drumming is so much fun and once you get off and rolling, you’ll never look back. Keep swinging my friend!
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